A THINK tank has called for Scotland to be excluded from UK immigration targets following the relaxation of rules for NHS staff.
Reform Scotland said the Home Office decision to exclude non-EU doctors and nurses from the cap on skilled migration could be extended to Scotland.
The organisation added it was a “simple fact” that Scotland needs more immigration, highlighting the low fertility rate and ageing population.
It pointed out that previous initiatives such as the Fresh Talent scheme had considered the immigration situation in Scotland differently to the rest of the UK.
Director Chris Deerin said: “It is an unavoidable truth that Scotland needs immigration.
“Our old-age dependency rate is growing, and will grow at an even faster rate in the years ahead.
“We need more working-age people to pay the taxes that fund our public services.
“The UK Government’s decision to create an exemption for NHS workers shows the mechanism is there to do the same for Scotland.”
A Home Office spokeswoman said: “We have been clear from the start that the devolved administrations should be fully engaged in the exit process.”
Last night, a Scottish Government spokesman said the UK’s migration target policy should be abandoned.